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$1.1M YouthBuild Grant Awarded To Westchester County To Help At-Risk Youth

Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Eliot Engel announced a $1.1 million YouthBuild grant has been awarded to the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) to support at-risk youth.
Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Eliot Engel announced a $1.1 million YouthBuild grant has been awarded to the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) to support at-risk youth. Photo Credit: File Photo

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. – A U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) YouthBuild grant totaling $1.1 million has been awarded to the Westchester County Department of Social Services (DSS) to support additional academic and occupational skills training for 80 at-risk youth in Westchester.

YouthBuild is a non-residential, community-based alternative education program that provides classroom instruction and occupational skills training in construction and other in-demand occupations to 16-24 year-olds who have been in the juvenile justice system, are aging out of foster care, have dropped out of high school or are otherwise at-risk of failing to reach key educational and career milestones.

Of the 80 at-risk youth that will receive training, 20 will be in Peekskill, 20 in Mt. Vernon and 40 in Yonkers.

“We must invest in at-risk youth to provide the skills and training that will lead to productive, independent lives,” said Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), the Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Committee. “I’m pleased federal funds from YouthBuild will support second chances and help 80 at-risk youth gain instruction and job training in the construction and home building fields.”

The U.S. Department of Labor announced the award of nearly $76 million in YouthBuild grants to fund 72 programs in 31 states and the District of Columbia. The grants will serve an estimated 4,800 participants nationally over the course of the next three years.

“I believe it is a moral imperative for us to do all that we can to invest in our at-risk youth populations here in Westchester,” said Congressman Eliot Engel, the Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “As the Representative for both Mt. Vernon and Yonkers, I am excited to hear that these federal funds will be used to provide additional academic and occupational skills training to so many in those communities, and I am confident they will make the most of this wonderful opportunity.”

This is the first round of YouthBuild grants awarded under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which went into effect July 1, 2015.

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